37 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

37 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

Start: Bremen
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 5 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 30​min
3
Townsville
— 2 nights
train:  4​h 45​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
5
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Mackay
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h
7
Fraser Island
— 4 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  8​h 15​min
8
Sydney
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
9
Melbourne
— 7 nights
+2
Fly + subway + train:  26​h
End: Bremen


4
nights
Cairns

A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing.
Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Palm Cove Beach and Yorkeys Knob Beach. Step out of Cairns to go to Palm Cove and see Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, which is approximately 44 minutes away. There's much more to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, get into the urban bustle at Tanks Arts Centre, and look for gifts at Australian Leather Company.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns trip maker tool .

Bremen, Germany to Cairns is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 9 hours traveling from Bremen to Cairns. Traveling from Bremen in April, things will get much hotter in Cairns: highs are around 34°C and lows about 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Yorkeys Knob Beach, Tanks Arts Centre
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Nature & Wildlife Tours

5
nights
Port Douglas

A holiday in Port Douglas balances an activity-filled getaway with plenty of opportunities to relax, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and bustling beach life.
Get outdoors at Scuba & Snorkeling and Four Mile Beach. Head to Coffee Works and Sunday Market Port Douglasfor some retail therapy. Spend the 2nd (Thu) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Spend the 5th (Sun) exploring nature at Mowbray National Park. There's much more to do: meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, stop by With Sugar, choose your vessel at Port Douglas Boat Hire, and look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Port Douglas trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In April, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Apr 30 — May 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

2
nights
Townsville

Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): take a memorable tour with Tours. Here are some ideas for day two: head off the coast to Museum of Tropical Queensland, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Strand, and then go for a walk through Castle Hill.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Townsville trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Townsville takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In May, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can take a train to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Outdoors Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whitehaven Beach.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Whitsunday Island trip itinerary planner.

You can take a train from Townsville to Whitsunday Island in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. In May, daytime highs in Whitsunday Island are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay May 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

3
nights
Airlie Beach

Very much a town with an emphasis on the tropical lifestyle, Airlie Beach offers exotic surroundings with palm trees and charming, sandy beaches.
Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Speed Boats Tours will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: get interesting insight from Tours, browse the eclectic array of goods at Lions Airlie Beach Markets, and enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To find maps, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Airlie Beach trip itinerary maker .

Ride a ferry from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach in 1.5 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Whitsunday Island in May since evenings lows in Airlie Beach dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can travel to Mackay.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay May 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Mackay

Mackay ©
Mackay is a city and its centre suburb in the Mackay Region on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. On the 12th (Sun), look for gifts at Let the Children Play Toyshop, browse the different shops at Caneland Central Shopping Centre, then kick back and relax at Town Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Illawong Beach.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Mackay trip planning app .

You can drive from Airlie Beach to Mackay in 2 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Airlie Beach in May since evenings lows in Mackay dip to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Mackay

Shopping Beaches Parks
Find places to stay May 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Caneland Central Shopping Centre ©
Caneland Central Shopping Centre
Town Beach ©
Town Beach
Let the Children Play Toyshop ©
Let the Children Play Toyshop

4
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Visit Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Eli Creek for some beach relaxation. Get outdoors at Indian Head and Lake McKenzie.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Fraser Island trip itinerary builder .

Explore your travel options from Mackay to Fraser Island with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay May 12 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

5
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
You'll get in some beach time at Bondi Beach and Clovelly. Visiting Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk and Sydney Harbour National Park will get you outdoors. Go for a jaunt from Sydney to Leura to see The Nook about 1h 35 min away. There's much more to do: stop by Sydney Fish Market, enjoy the sand and surf at Coogee Beach, make a trip to Queen Victoria Building (QVB), and take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Sydney online trip planner .

Getting from Fraser Island to Sydney by combination of car, ferry, and flight takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of car, ferry, and train. In May, daytime highs in Sydney are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

The Nook
Find places to stay May 17 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

7
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
For shopping fun, head to Melbourne Central or Lightning Ridge Opal Mines. Get in touch with nature at Melbourne Zoo and St. Kilda Beach. Dedicate the 28th (Tue) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: stop by Readings Book Shop, browse the different shops at Bourke Street Mall, get a taste of the local shopping with The White Room Interiors, and browse the eclectic array of goods at South Melbourne Market.

To find traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Melbourne trip tool .

Traveling by flight from Sydney to Melbourne takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Sydney in May; daily highs in Melbourne reach 20°C and lows reach 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

Shopping Tours Parks

Side Trip

St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay May 23 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Boat Hire ©
Melbourne Boat Hire
St. Kilda Beach ©
St. Kilda Beach
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

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